As emerging technologies arise, the global awareness of web3 is exponentially growing. In a recent study by Consensys and YouGov, 15 countries were surveyed about cryptocurrencies, NFTs, web3, blockchain, and the metaverse. Astoundingly, 92% of respondents stated they are aware of cryptocurrencies.
This statistic is huge and a major step in the right direction for web3 companies!
Let’s rewind back to the start of web3 and consider how far it has come.
Similar to any new product, concept, or service, global awareness takes time to build up.
Crypto began when the first conceptualized blockchain was created in 2008 by an anonymous person or group known as Satoshi Nakamoto.
However, the first cryptocurrency transaction didn’t officially occur until December 2009 on the Bitcoin network.
A marketplace started to form in February 2010 and then facilitated the first cryptocurrency trade in March 2010.
The blockchain gained more awareness and users as time went on. By May 2013, there were 11 million Bitcoin in circulation with over $1B USD in market cap.
Innovation continued, leading to the creation of the first NFT in May 2014 on Namecoin.
Through the many ups and downs of the web3 innovations, in 2018, Facebook, Google, and Twitter blocked all cryptocurrency ads from their platforms. Advertising restrictions limited web3’s ability to educate individuals (forming a gap between awareness and familiarity).
In 2019, the web3 world became more widely accepted, and by October, there were 80 million distinct Ethereum addresses.
The most recent bull run in crypto from 2021-2022 (which also created the widespread use of the term “web3”) also inspired many traditional businesses to enter web3. In fact, Coinbase recently found that 80% of the Fortune 500 have entered or are considering web3 initiatives as of 2023.
Importance of Global Awareness
Clearly, web3 is an emerging tool that businesses are adopting in order to stay ahead of the game with innovative technology. Like other technological innovations, global adaptation requires consumer trust and understanding. For these reasons, product adaption takes time and it is important that companies in the web3 world educate their consumers about the web3 ecosystem.
As major brands continue to enter the metaverse space, their presence will demonstrate to their audience that web3 is the beginning of a new era. Brands will be the first to move, if they haven’t already, because web3 will allow them to better understand and connect with consumers. Because consumers hold trust with different brands, they will soon become individually more comfortable with web3 technology.
Once individuals and businesses are leveraging web3 technologies in the same ways they do with web2 platforms (think Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, Wikipedia, TikTok, etc.), we’ll see more penetration and disruption of other industries, including real estate, transportation, ticket sales, sporting, entertainment, retail, and more.
Moving from Awareness to Understanding and Usage
Even though 92% of global respondents are aware of the web3 world, only 8% consider themselves familiar with the ecosystem and its functions.
This statistic raises the brutal question: Why is there a massive disconnect between awareness and familiarity?
Current businesses working in web3 can change this startling statistic if they begin to raise more awareness around the benefits of web3.
Statistically speaking, individuals want the features that web3 offers, yet they are unaware that they exist (Consensys):
- 83% of respondents value data privacy.
- 79% of respondents desire greater control over their online identities.
- 67% of respondents want to own their creations on the internet.
- 38% of respondents feel adequately compensated for their contributions.
If current web3 businesses could educate individuals about ownership, privacy, security, and profits generated from online activity, then the industry would begin to close the gap between global awareness and familiarity.
In the grand scheme of things, we are still very early in the adoption and realization of the value of decentralized technology. The more companies do to focus on solving hard problems with this technology, the faster the adoption curve will grow.
Thanks to JUMP for giving a great deal of inspiration for this post!